In a previous blog post of our criminal defense team in Broward we discussed the penalties for being found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI). Today we discuss other key elements, such as the Chemical or Physical Test Provisions (Implied Consent Law) regulations. For example, the refusal to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test is admissible as evidence in DUI criminal proceedings, while a second or subsequent refusal is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Driver License Suspension Periods assume a period of one year for a first refusal, and 18 months for a second or subsequent refusals. If necessary, blood may be withdrawn in DUI cases involving serious bodily injury or death by authorized medical personnel with the use of reasonable force by the arresting officer, even if the driver refuses. Any person who is incapable of refusal by reason of unconsciousness or other mental or physical condition shall be deemed not to have withdrawn his consent to such test. A blood test may be administered whether or not such person is told that his failure to submit to such a blood test will result in the suspension of his privilege to operate a motor vehicle.
In a previous blog, we noted that one of the penalties for DUI includes a suspended or revoked license. In this context, we must warn that any person whose driver license/privilege is suspended for driving with an unlawful alcohol level, or revoked for DUI, DUI manslaughter or vehicular homicide, or for any other offense ordered by the court and who causes death or serious bodily injury to another person by operating a motor vehicle in a careless or negligent manner is guilty of a 3rd degree felony, punishable by both imprisonment of not more than 5 years, a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both.
A special case is also reserved for drivers under the age of 21 driving with an alcohol level .02 or above. Florida Statutes authorize law enforcement officers having probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle is being driven by or is in the actual physical control of a person who is under the age of 21 while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or who has any alcohol level may lawfully detain this person and may request them to submit to a test to determine the alcohol level. This violation is neither a traffic infraction nor a criminal offense, nor does being detained under this statute constitute an arrest. In this case, the license suspension can go from 6 months for a first offense, to 18 months for second or subsequent suspensions for refusal.
You can find out more information about it from our criminal defense team and from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
As we previously warned, all drivers should refrain from drinking and driving. If you get charged with a DUI, make sure you search for specialized legal counsel, given the so many details that such a complicated case entails. Our criminal defense team in Broward is available for discussions, counseling and court representation for this type of issues.